Take a breather, it’ll be okay

As this semester slowly comes to an end, don’t forget that you need a break too

With the middle of November upon us, all these stresses and worries begin to dawn on students in the form of exams, assignments, essays, and more. It really is the final push before the break.

Though I’m not currently in school anymore, I do find myself being just as worried and stressed about everything as I was just a year ago at this time. Every day, it seems life likes to add another gourmet meal onto my plate, except instead of a meal, it’s work, and instead of gourmet, well, it’s just stress, anxiety, worry, and a whole slew of emotions.

Familiar feeling anyone? Every day for me since being elected for this job has been so interesting, but also extremely challenging mentally and emotionally. My mental health has been going through a lot these past few weeks and I do feel myself getting more tired every day. I find myself trying to reset my mind every day to make sure I don’t completely lose sight of what I’m doing.

My mental health recently feels like it has slowly been deteriorating and it scares me. I’m aware that I’m required to do a lot in a short amount of time while also staying humble and willing to do it.  Though I always tell myself that it is okay to fail, I still fear the idea of failing my team at The Medium, my friends, my family, and myself. Generally, I’m just tired.

You know those moments whenyou aren’t physically tired but you’re just exhausted? When your brain has just been working for so long, that you basically forget yourself and worry only about your work? I think I’m slowly getting there, and I think a lot of students are too.

I’m writing this to remind myself and to remind you to stop and slow down. We’re all getting wrapped up into so much in our lives. We’re worrying about the next test, assignment, payment, errand, and more. It gets to the point where even something you’re supposed to enjoy, like hanging out with your friends, becomes just as stressful as the work you’re doing. Your friends become an errand and sometimes, your entire life feels like one giant errand.

This feeling of pure dread for doing anything, even watching a movie, just dawned on me and I couldn’t believe it. I was hating the things I love to do.

On some days, I feel like my brain is deflating.

With the stresses and the worry that we’re all facing day-to-day now, it’s important to take a step back and let yourself be you for a day. We do get fogged up with this feeling of constant work and the notion of having to have everything done as soon as possible—but we’re only human.

Taking care of yourself and your mental health is crucial to your well-being—you may hurt yourself more in the long run if you don’t. Acknowledging and allowing yourself to be afraid, anxious, nervous is also part of this experience called life. Life doesn’t stop for you, so it’s important to at least be able to control the speed at which it goes.

Once you’ve let yourself go through the emotions, take time to heal. Stop working for a little bit to treat yourself to an episode of your favourite show, or a conversation with someone you love, such as a friend, partner, or family member.

Taking time for yourself can sometimes seem ridiculous and unproductive—but it isn’t. At the end of the day, you have to wake up and have the courage to face whatever crap is thrown at you, so you might as well slow down and at least look after yourself.

Just like all of you, I’m afraid of the future as much as I wish to embrace it. I wake up every day knowing that there are going to be 10,001 things on my mind, and go to bed with 10,002 things on my mind. You just need to take care of you. Your mental health is so important. I ask you to think of yourself first and allow yourself time to express and be yourself.

I am working on following my own advice and hoping that I’ll wake up a little less afraid every day. I hope you do too.

Remember how important you are to yourself and to those around you. Work hard for yourself while continue to appreciate yourself. All you can really do is be as humble as you can and finish all you have to do, one thing at a time.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed and put on blinders to the rest of life. As my dad always loves to say, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans …Who says this Mahmoud? Ahh…John Lennon, genius” He’s said this to me so many times since the day I was born, I’m starting to appreciate its truth. We’re focused on everything else other than life itself.

So try, for 10 minutes, to think about you, care for yourself, and for your mental health. Keep yourself okay and help those around you. Stay humble and happy, and when you’re ready, get back to work. Don’t let your life become a job. Leave the chores to be chores and let your life be your life.

Think about yourself as much as you think about your work.

Be afraid, sad, scared, happy, joyful, ecstatic, and every emotion you could possibly think of. Most importantly, be you.

You’ll be okay. I promise.

 

YOURS,
MAHMOUD SAROUJI